It’s a dirty job on the front lines of a massive environmental challenge. But a poor community of trash collectors in Egypt has captured the world’s attention for their startlingly efficient, eco-friendly and low-tech methods of recycling. We talk with a documentary filmmaker about the culture of Egypt’s “Zabaleen” — or garbage collectors — and how their craft is being threatened by modern waste management companies from foreign lands.


  • Mai Iskander Filmmaker
  • Diane Singerman Associate professor in the Government Department, School of Public Affairs at American University. Author of Avenues of Participation: Family, Politics, and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo (Princeton University Press), and editor of Cairo Cosmopolitan, and Cairo Contested (American University in Cairo Press).

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